Saturday, May 12, 2018

Time to ban those nasty smokes!

"So when you are out and about today, or casting a few on the lake, go ahead and light up. Please do. We really need the revenue which comes from each smoke. Is it bad for you? Sure - but not as bad as the government having to go without some 'much needed' revenue."

Okay. I am now on the bandwagon. The "save our children" bandwagon. I see the signs at the anti-gun rallies. We need to save our children from things which can harm them. Like guns, or cigarettes. Cigarettes? It is the one lethal product we make which is still legal and sold in great quantities. But hold on just for a minute.

In this news as of late, are stories about cities who want to raise the legal age of smoking to 21. Okay - I get it. It is for the children. However, it will only make the sale of smokes to someone under 21 illegal. If you are caught smoking under the age of 21, then what? Nothing. So what effect will those new laws have on saving the children? Nothing.

Here is the clunker. If I still smoked (quit over 35 years ago), and drove down to the store to buy a pack of smokes without my seat belt on, I could get a ticket for up to $100. And I would not have put anyone else in danger except myself. However, if I did buy that pack of smokes and then lit up, I would have put myself in danger (first hand smoke), others whom my smoke drifted over (second hand smoke), and then others from the somewhat mysterious third hand smoke. All perfectly legal.

My proposition is to then to make cigarettes illegal in the United States. What do you think about that ? {silence from the crowds.} After all, the Surgeon General determined years ago cigarettes can be lethal to yourself and others. {again, silence from the crowds.} Okay - back to reality. Cigarettes will never be made illegal in the United States. Why? We are hooked, addicted. To the tobacco? Nope - the tax revenue.

For example, back in 2009 when the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) got into financial trouble, they needed a new source of revenue. So the 2009 re-authorization bill raised the price of a pack of smokes by 60 cents. {liberal think here} The theory was the CHIP would be flush with cash, and the increased price would prohibit some young people from starting smoking. In reality, cigarettes are like anything else. Simple economics took over. Raise the price of something, and less are sold. And that is what happened with cigarettes after 2009.

In Minnesota, besides paying the sky high federal tax, we also tax a pack of smokes about $3.50. So what does all this mean? A pack of smokes when I smoked was about 35 cents. When I was in the service and overseas, about 17 cents. Now a pack is about $8 or higher. But (and this is the three pointer), if we banned cigarettes, it would put a hole in both the federal and state treasuries. THAT is why cigarettes will NEVER be banned. 

So when you are out and about today, or casting a few on the lake, go ahead and light up. Please do. We really need the revenue which comes from each smoke. Is it bad for you? Sure - but not as bad as it would be for the government having to go without some "much needed" revenue.


  1. 700 million a year is nothing to wheeze about.
    Called "sin" taxes on liquor and tobacco, no one can find fault in these sources of revenue.
    Besides, the greatest share of these taxes are paid by those least able to afford them. Nice regressive GOP favored tax.
    Some think their is a correlation between these bad behaviors and the inability to get ahead in life. Could be right.
    I wish we had a huge tax on cell phones.
    California added 12 cents a gallon to their already high gas tax and fast tracked a bunch of highway and bridge projects.
    Wish we would do that. Driving in Saint Paul is like driving in a 3rd world sh..hole.
    Guess I'll go fishing now, since I have a free lifetime license to catch fish I can't eat due to the pollutants in our water.

    1. Dave stop! I am still laughing! Nobody does snark better at times! Thanks for the day brightener!